Friday, June 04, 2010

Thursday (Arcos and the South Coast)...

Awoke to a cool, breezy morning for a long driving day along a grand loop to the southern coast. Exiting the Plaza Cabildo was a tight sqeeze. Pastries in nearby Medina-Sidonia on its town square. South to the coastal town of Vejer de la Frontera... yet-another hilltown with a harrowing climb to the top.

Hooray...the Altantic Ocean!

Visited the expansive archeological complex at Balio Claudia...the ancient Roman city that is being uncovered and reclaimed from sand, earth, and time. Ruins from the time around 1 B.C. Roman wall and gates. An ampitheatre. The ancient forum. Foundations of temples. And buildings along the shore for salt-curing fish.

Continued on through the beach-town of Tarifa at the southern-most tip of Spain, Got our glimpses of Africa. (Tarifa is one of the main points to catch a ferry to Morocco...not this trip.) Leaving Tarifa, a road-side mirador provided a better view of close across the Staights of Gilbraltar. Grabbed a sandwich with an African vista.

Through the busy, hectic port city of Algeciras. Got our first (and fleeting) glimpses of Gibraltar. Again...something for another trip. Hooray...a glimpse of the Mediterranean.

Time for the second half of our circle-route back to Arcos. Hit another white hilltown...Jimena de la Frontera. Plotted a course back...only discover a road closed. Ugh! The new, less-certain route was an hour longer. Up and over the mountain...through the national park (again)...this time up a rough park road. Up and up and up. Faith that the route would not be blocked along the way. The occasional biker or runner gave confidence that something was on the other side. Yay!...cozy Ubrique and a smoother (and wider) drive on to El Bosque and Arcos. Whew! :)

After a long drive, nothing better than cervezas! Meson Don Fernando for more tapas...patatas bravas, croquetas de espinicha, brocheta de solomillo. Muy excelente! And a delcious tarta de limon for dessert. An excellent way to end an excellent day full of firsts. A quiet evening before tomorrow...back to the big city...Madrid.

No comments: